Real Salt Lake removes interim tag for team president John Kimball

Kimball has been the interim president of the club since September 2020.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) New Sandy mayor Monica Zoltanski tours Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. At right is John Kimball, who was named president of Real Salt Lake on Feb. 11, 2022.

Real Salt Lake announced Friday that John Kimball had signed a multiyear contract to remain the president of the organization. He had been the interim president since September of 2020.

Kimball came into a difficult situation in September 2020 when he was asked by then-Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen to oversee the club as it searched for a new owner. The organization was mired in controversy off the field and the team wasn’t performing well on it. To make matters more complicated, the world was going through a pandemic.

But Kimball did what he could to make it feel like the organization was running smoothly. He empowered executives to create The RSL Way. He allowed the front office to make the player signings they saw fit, provided they were within the club’s already thin budget. He was laser focused on repairing a toxic culture that came to light when allegations of racist and sexist behavior from Hansen and former Chief Business Officer Andy Carroll came to light.

Through it all, Kimball has been there trying to get the club back to what it once was when he first was hired back in 2004, when the team was created.

And just a short time after David Blitzer and Ryan Smith bought RSL, Kimball was rewarded for those efforts.

“John has demonstrated great leadership while running the Club and we’re excited to make his appointment as president official,” Smith said in a news release. “RSL is an amazing asset to our community and with a strong team on the pitch and a loyal and passionate fan base, we know the Club is in a great position to continue to thrive.”

Blitzer added: “We very much want to acknowledge the phenomenal job done over the last year-plus by John Kimball and the entire staff, as this team of people are obviously committed every day to building a world-class organization, winning championships, investing in the growth and success of the sport at all levels.”